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Right to reparations in international law for victims of armed conflict: Convergence of law and practice?

Evans, E. Christine (2010) Right to reparations in international law for victims of armed conflict: Convergence of law and practice? PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis analyses the international legal standing of the right to reparations for victims of serious human rights and humanitarian law violations and assesses the degree of practical implementation of the right at the national level through post-conflict and transitional justice measures. The central objective of this study is to chart and evaluate developments in law and practice in order to substantiate arguments in favour of an emerging customary right for individuals to receive reparations for serious violations of human rights and a corresponding responsibility of States. To this end, Part I explores the customary nature of human rights and humanitarian law provisions, outlines the basic premise of State responsibility in relation to violations and identifies the general international norms which establish the obligation of States to provide reparations. An examination of the jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice, the Articles on State Responsibility of the International Law Commission and the convergence of norms in different branches of international law, notably human rights law, humanitarian law and international criminal law as well as extensive human rights jurisprudence, international as well as regional, supports the position that the right to reparations is gaining customary recognition. The adoption in 2006 of the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law by the General Assembly of the United Nations further strengthens this claim. Following the legal analysis, Part II of the study explores State practice in relation to reparations through four case studies; Guatemala, Sierra Leone, East Timor and Colombia between 1999 and 2009. Analysis is undertaken of peace agreements and to what extent post-conflict measures, such as Truth Commissions, have promoted State responsibility for reparations, been supported by the United Nations, interacted with human rights mechanisms and prompted subsequent elaboration of domestic legislation and reparations policies. The thesis concludes that there is significant convergence in law in favour of the right to reparations. The lacuna between norm and implementation should be overcome by reinforcing State responsibility to provide reparations for victims.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Law and Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Law
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2215

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